Polyrhythm and Polymeter
A polyrhythm is when two or more performers are playing the same time signature, but are playing different groupings/rhythms within that time signature. For example if playing all eighth notes in 4/4 time, one guitarist could be playing 2+2+2+2 while the other could be playing 3+3+2.
This example is in 3/4 and has the rhythm parts performing 2+2+2 while the guitars are playing 3+3. (Note that the 3/4 meter is simple notated to show the accented beats of all instruments other than guitar and not notated to show pitch.)
A polymeter is when two or more performers are playing different time signatures. For example, one guitarist could be playing in 4/4 while the drummer could be playing in 9/8. This is a great way to build massive amounts of tension in your song writing.
This example has the guitars, bass and lower body of the drummer performing in a 3/8 meter while the synth and upper body of the drummer is performing in a 4/4 meter. (Note that the 4/4 meter is simple notated to show the accented beats of all instruments other than guitar and not notated to show pitch.)
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